Julien Believe Selected as the Producer for Music Masters Song Competition

“Music is the backbone of Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival” 

The Bahamas National Festival Commission (BNFC) has selected Julien Thompson, owner of J. Believe Music Ltd., as the official music producer for the Junkanoo Carnival Music Masters Song Competition 2016. Popularly known by his stage name Julien Believe, he will work with the musicians in the top 20 semi-final competition to remix and remaster their songs. The new music, which will represent the final submissions for the song competition, will be released next month.

The Music Masters Song Competition is a key component of Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival, which is simultaneously a world class music festival, an interactive cultural experience and an unforgettable street party. Focusing on the festival’s three distinct aspects, the BNFC is committed to building a uniquely Bahamian carnival that delivers the perfect dose of music, culture and vibes to its thousands of followers. The Music Masters semi-final concert will take place at the Grand Bahama Carnival Kick Off, April 15-16, 2016 at Taino Beach, and the finals will take place on the mega stage during the main carnival weekend, May 5-7, 2016 at Da Cultural Village in Nassau.

After reviewing a number of proposals and going through a selection process, the BNFC selected Julien as the producer for the project. He will work alongside the BNFC Music Consultant, veteran Bahamian artist and producer, Ira Storr to remake the music.

Julien is a Bahamian Icon award winner, who is fresh off his ground breaking performance at the Miss World Pageant in Sanya, China this past December. Next month he is set to perform at Jamaica Carnival – the first for a Bahamian – alongside other top regional performers. His top songs, Caribbean Slide, Live and Wine and most recently, Party Ambassadors, feature heavy hitters from the region, including: Beenie Man, Bunji Garlin, Fadda Fox and Ricardo Drue. As a recording artist and song writer, Julien coins his music “Junkanoo Pop”.

“I am extremely impressed with the growth of our industry as it relates to the Junkanoo Pop sound and its songwriting and production. It’s inspiring to see so many new and upcoming artists show their skills. I hope this continues to encourage other artists with similar gifts – musicians and producers – to pursue their dreams. At the end of the day, I feel the Bahamian people will be very proud with the product,” said Julien.

“I owe this opportunity to my country on behalf of the future generation of musicians, songwriters and the creative sector as a whole. It is my duty to pay it forward and ensure that I share the knowledge that I’ve gained thus far. I am extremely grateful for this incredible opportunity,” said Julien.

Ira Storr has spent 30 years in the music industry, dedicating his life to the advancement of Bahamian music. He is the musician, arranger and composer behind the popular Spank Band. His career has included stints with artists such as Eddie Minnis and living legend, Ronnie Butler. In 1995, Ira stepped into a solo career and recorded his Island Life album. Shortly thereafter, the Spank Band was formed. Its fame is admired both locally and internationally, having performed throughout the United States, Europe and the Caribbean.

Although some seasoned musicians entered the song competition, submissions were also received from novice musicians looking for an opportunity to break through. The rules only required that submissions were of demo quality. The role of the producer is to take the raw productions and ensure all of the songs are equally produced at album level quality and at a world class standard. The process gives the competitors unprecedented access to professionals who can assist in their artist development.

“Music is the backbone of the entire Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival experience. It was essential to find a talented Bahamian as our song competition producer who could capture the vibrant energy of Junkanoo Carnival, the nuances of our culture and the uniqueness of the Bahamian sound,” said Roscoe Dames, BNFC Chief Executive Office.

SAVE THE DATE: Thursday, February 18, 2016
“In the Element” Junkanoo Carnival TV show to premier Music Masters Song Competition songs with an exclusive sneak peak of music.

Competitors in the Junkanoo Carnival Music Masters Song Competition: Aurelia Russell, Christopher “Sketch” Carey (2 songs), Colyn McDonald, Ebony Gibson, Ericka “Lady E” Symonette (2 songs); Fanshawn Taylor, Georgina Ward-Rigby, Jive (2 songs); Khiara Sherman, Lamont Darling, Latoya “Latia” Ferguson (2 songs); Rik Carey, Sammie Starr, Sonovia Pierre, Terrelle Tynes-Wilson (2 songs); Wendell “Avvy” Mortimer.

For more information:

Please forward any questions or requests for interviews to: noelle@qtechcaribbean.com or phaven@mybnfc.com.

Noelle Nicolls, Marketing Consultant, Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival, (242) 376-9794 

Petra Haven, Marketing Coordinator, Bahamas National Festival Commission, (242) 356-2100

Media Contact: Kendea Smith | ksmith@bahamas.com | 242-397-2786